'Tutti Frutti' Joins National Music Registry

6:45 PM, Jun 23, 2010   |    comments
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Macon native Little Richard's honors now include a spot in the Library of Congress.

The library announced Wednesday that it is added Richard Penniman's 1955 hit "Tutti Frutti" to its National Recording Registry.

Rapper Tupac Shakur's song "Dear Mama" and Bill Cosby's second comedy album are also among 25 recordings the Library of Congress is preserving for their cultural significance.

So are some rare battle sounds from World War II.

Selections for the 2009 National Recording Registry must be at least 10 years old and be culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.

The new additions include performances by Willie Nelson, Loretta Lynn and Patti Smith, along with the 1923 recording "Canal Street Blues" by King Oliver's Creole Jazz Band.

Also on the list: R.E.M.'s early hit "Radio Free Europe," which featured two band members who grew up in Macon, Bill Berry and Mike Mills.


The registry gives this description of Little Richard's signature hit:

"In 1955, when he entered Cosimo Matassa's New Orleans studio, 22 year-old "Little Richard" Penniman was a seasoned rhythm and blues performer but an unsuccessful recording artist in search of a breakthrough hit. At first, there seemed to be scant rapport between Richard and the other musicians, and a frustrating session ensued. Not until Richard started extemporizing verses of "Tutti Frutti," a risqué feature of his club sets, did the music catch fire. Even in the less-suggestive version that was eventually released, Little Richard's unique vocalizing over the irresistible beat announced a new era in music."

Information from the Associated Press was used in this story.






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